Happy Friday! I hope this blog finds you well and enjoying the end of the first week of 2017!!! I have a fabulous blog for you today – a guest author and a giveaway!!! Author Jane McGarry is here today to talk to us about her recent release, Unexpected Rewards. This is the second book in a trilogy. But if you haven’t read the first book, no worries. Keep reading and find more information about the giveaway at the bottom. It might be your lucky day!
Without further ado, let’s get to Jane McGarry…
Jane, first tell us a little about your novel.
Unexpected Rewards is the sequel to Not Every Girl. Now that Olivia’s mission is complete, she expects to be knighted. Instead, she is made a lady-in-waiting to the queen. Thrust into palace life where intrigue abounds, she must use her training and instincts to protect the King from a new threat, all while trying to ensure her love with the Prince Liam will prevail.
Interesting twist…what was the inspiration for the Not Every Girl series?
Many books I have enjoyed over the years have had a strong female protagonist. I wanted to write a feisty, resilient heroine who didn’t spend her time waiting to be rescued by the hero. Girls need positive examples of characters with strength and courage to help them feel empowered in life. Hopefully, Olivia achieves this in some way.
I agree. I enjoy writing female characters who have some spirit to them. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have always loved writing stories for myself, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually gave the idea of publishing a novel any serious consideration. I had worked for 10+ years in the pharmaceutical industry before leaving to be a stay-at-home mom. Writing soon became an escape from the daily grind of child rearing. Then, I had the idea for Not Every Girl and things took off from there.
What a career change! I know there are things about writing we all enjoy, but there are also parts of the process we don’t like so much. What part do you dread?
Dread may be a little too strong of a word, but the most tedious process is when you get into the nitty gritty of editing. Writing the first draft is a very organic flow where I do not give much thought to the actual structure of the words. Then it is time to concentrate on the rules of grammar, which is a much less creative endeavor.
That is true, it is less organic, more tedious. I find that reading is an important part of writing. We intuitively learn from others. What are you currently reading?
The Beauty of Darkness (Book 3 of the Remnant Chronicles) by Mary E. Pearson. I have enjoyed this trilogy. The first book has a great twist that has kept me hooked for the series.
Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
My favorite time to write is when my house is quiet. Usually, this means my kids are at school. I sit in a big comfy chair in the living room with a nice hot cup of tea if possible.
Oohhh, that does sound nice! Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Olivia is sure that she will not fit in at the palace or find any meaningful way to pass her time. However, through a series of events, she winds up meeting someone who teaches her a valuable skill and gives her life in the castle purpose.
Thanks for giving us that little insight! One more question…do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
Right now, I am working on the final installment in the trilogy. Olivia finally discovers the true culprit behind the plot against the king. Now she must race against time to prove her theory is true before it is too late.
Jane, thank you again for coming on my blog and talking about your newest release. I know I’m certainly intrigued!
Olivia Davenport is looking forward to her future. After all, Prince Liam has professed his love and King William has promised her a reward for her role on a recent mission. She fully expects to continue her knightly training while enjoying a blossoming romance with her Prince. The King, however, has other ideas, appointing her as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Helen.
Thrust into unfamiliar territory and left to fend against the malicious women of court, Olivia feels awkward and confused. With the help of her new friend, Kat, and her sister, Anne, she tries to find her footing among the courtiers, their protocol, and the added complication of Jocelyn Crawford, a lady who has her eyes set on becoming Liam’s bride.
When, a disturbing prophecy puts the safety of the King in question, fear spreads through kingdom. Intrigue abounds at the palace with an enigmatic witch and a strict Friar at the center of the controversy. Olivia must use her training and instincts to unravel what is truly going on in order to protect the King. Through it all, she questions if she will ever be able to fit into Liam’s life and if, in the end, their love can prevail.
Enjoy an Excerpt
“Excuse me, Sir Davenport, Lady Davenport,” says a voice, and suddenly Liam stands beside us. “But I would very much like to have a dance with your daughter.”
“Of course, Your Highness,” Mother replies in awe, dipping into a curtsey.
My acknowledgement is a much stiffer bow of the head. The moments with my family had briefly smothered my worry, but now it hurtles back full force. He takes my hand and I follow him onto the floor, silently praying my knees don’t give out from the terror that rises in me like the tide. One hand fits on the small of my back, the other grasps mine. His palms are uncharacteristically sweaty.
Something is definitely wrong.
I look into his beautiful, blue eyes. They swim with misery. Now that I am going to find out the reason, I am not sure I want to anymore.
He clears his throat. “I didn’t want to have to tell you in public, but I can’t let the night pass and deceive you.”
At my silence, he continues, “Somehow Jocelyn has influenced my father. He wants me to court her, to give her a fair chance, because he considers her a more suitable match.”
There she sits now, right next to King William, her usual smug expression in place. Our monarch absently surveys the room. The monarch I saved—who praised me for it—stabs me in the back without a second thought. I should have left him to die in that escape tunnel.
“And what do you think of that?” I ask pointedly.
“Naturally, I protested…abundantly, but…” He stops, won’t meet my eyes.
But? But cannot be good. But can only be disastrous.
I stop moving and we stand looking at each other like mannequins while couples rotate around us.
“But what?” I whisper, the cacophony of music and chatter turning into an otherworldly buzz while my senses brace for the impact of his answer.
“But…my father told me if I did not give Jocelyn a fair chance, he would not only send you from the palace, but ship you down to Prescott and arrange a marriage for you there. I don’t know what to do, Olivia. I don’t know how to fix this.”
A barrage of thoughts leap to mind, none of them in any way accepting of this information. Send me away? Ship me to Prescott? As if I were livestock? And arrange a marriage? So many protests, I hardly know where to begin.
The music ends and couples saunter off the floor. Liam and I stand alone in the center.
Eyes will be upon us soon if we remain here like statues.
With every ounce of composure I can muster, I curtsey and hear my voice say, “Thank you for the dance, Your Highness. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.”
Then, I walk away.
More About Jane McGarry
Reading was always a big part of Jane’s life. Over the years, creating stories developed out of this love. Finally, she decided to try her hand at writing a novel and that was when Not Every Girl was conceived.
She lives in New Jersey in a house full of boys, including one over-indulged cat. When she is not running around with her family or writing, she can be found curled up with said cat and a good book.
You can visit her online at: www.janemcgarrybooks.com .
Connect with Jane and her books
Author website: http://www.janemcgarrybooks.com/
Interested? I know I am!! Haven’t read the first book and want to? Well, here’s your opportunity! Jane McGarry is giving a signed paperback copy of her first book Not Every Girl!!! Please click on the link to enter the giveaway!
***WINNER WILL BE DRAWN FROM THOSE WHO COMMENT***
My apologies. I understand that the rafflecopter isn’t working. So, if you wish to enter the drawing, just comment on the post. I will draw the winner from among those names. Entries will be accepted until Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm. Thanks!!!